Week Five

Moving on from colour, this week we encouraged children to think outside the box and consider other resources they could use to paint rather than using traditional media like paint and coloured pencils. Our staff provided items to use, but the children were also encouraged to think of resources available in their rooms that they might also use for a sensory painting activity.

Among the resources we used was ketchup, mustard, hot chocolate powder, coffee grounds, tea, soil, and spices such as chilli powder and turmeric. They also used items such as jam, Branston pickle, flowers, and rice krispies mixed with traditional paint in order to make their own textured paint!

Halfway through the activity, the children decided to mix together separate resources to make different colours and textures, and commented on the different smells and textures as they painted. Their paint was “slimy”, “smelly”, “runny”, “spicy”, and they were especially fond of the smell of the hot chocolate mixture and the jelly crystals they used to make pink paint! They also chose to sprinkle some of the raw materials like the spices and hot chocolate mix on top of the paint to add additional layers of texture.

One of the loveliest parts of the activity was how the children related the different smells and resources to their experiences at home. Some children commented that their mummies and daddies drink tea and coffee at home, and one child observing that their mummy uses a pestle and mortar to ground spices for their curries! They then described their painting as smelling like curry.

Moving on from painting, the children enjoyed turning their activity into a malleable play experience, mixing the different resources different to make potions and to make their own “foods”. They also discussed what other resources they could use for painting, suggesting gravy, ice cream, and even sausages!

How can you help?

We would love to see our families make masterpieces of their very own! Use materials in your home or your garden to mix your own paint and colours, and use your homemade paints to produce an artwork either inspired by Helios or of your own creation.

Think about smell, texture, and colour and share any observations your child makes.

Artworks and comments can be shared by uploading an observation to Capture or by emailing [email protected].